While we suspect that Smith had some influence on the name William as well, the influence is much more noticeable with the name Will. He was originally known from his appearance in the TV series The Fresh Prince (1990-1996). During the late 90s and 2000s, the his son, daughter, and wife also had influence on baby names as Will had a number of blockbuster films that often included family members. Successes included Bad Boys (1995 and 2003), Independence Day (1996), Men in Black (1997 and 2002), Enemy of the State (1998), Wild Wild West (1999), Ali (2001), The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), I Am Legend (2007), and Hancock (2008).
Shepard had his earliest notable film in Without a Paddle (2004). He starred in three prominent films in 2016: Employee of the Month, Idiocracy, and Let's Go to Prison. He is also well known for his role in the TV series Parenthood from 2010-2015.
While many of the actors on this list are best known for their work in film, Ventimiglia is best known for his work in TV. He starred in Gilmore Girls from 2002 to 2006 and Heroes from 2006 to 2010 - both series that targeted young adults. His Heroes' co-star Hayden Panettiere also had an influence on baby names. Also in 2006, he stared in Rocky Balboa. In 2016, he reprised his role in Gilmore Girls for the reunion miniseries and started a new role in This Is Us.
Phoenix received a great deal of international attention for his role in the 2000 film Gladiator - just before the name Joaquin started gaining popularity. He followed the success with many other movies over the next decade. Of particular note was his role in the animated film Brother Bear (2003) that was targeted toward children and seen by many parents which may be considering another child. He was also nominated for Best Actor for playing Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005). After taking a break for several years, he starred in The Master (2012), Her (2013), Inherent Vice (2014), and Joker (2019).
Some of Washington's earlier work included racially charged films such as Cry Freedom (1987), Glory (1989), and Malcolm X (1992). Since, he has continued to star in many popular films including The Pelican Brief (1993), The Hurricane (1999), Remember the Titans (2000), Training Day (2001) and The Great Debaters (2007). He has won numerous awards for his work.
Law first gained international attention for his role in the 1999 film The Talented Mr Ripley. He stared the beginning of the 2000s, he stared in Enemy at the Gates (2001) and Road to Perdition (2002). The romantic roles in Alfie (2004) and The Holiday (2006) led to some of the larger influences on baby naming. He followed those roles with the blockbuster Sherlock Holmes (2009) and the sequel (2011). Later films include Side Effects (2013), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Spy (2015), The Crimes of Grindewald (2018), and Captain Marvel (2019).
DiCaprio started acting early with What's Eating Gilbert Grape in 1993. The trend of romantic films targeted at younger audiences influencing baby names can be seen with his work in Titanic (1997). He later saw success with Ganges of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), Body of Lies (2008), and Inception (2010). He returned to staring as a romantic icon in The Great Gatsby (2013). He also garnered much acclaim for his role in The Revnant (2015). In 2019, he starred in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
After modeling, Kutcher began acting as Michael Kelso in That 70s Show which ran for 8 seasons starting in 1998. He had a box office hit with Dude, Where's My Car? in 2000. The romantic comedies, with a target audience that is likely to pick names for their children, Just Married and My Boss's Daughter gained success in 2003. That year he also created the MTV show Punk'd which ran for five seasons. He gained additional recognition with his lead role in The Butterfly Effect (2004).
Smith is the son of faimed actor Will Smith. During the late 90s and 2000s, the entire family influenced baby names as Will had many successful blockbuster films that featured family members. Jaden's sister, father, and mother also had an influence on baby names. Notable films for Jaden include The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), The Karate Kid (2010), and After Earth (2013).
Wilson collaborated with Wes Anderson for the 1996 film Bottle Rocket and later for The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). He stared in numerous roles in the early 2000s including Shanghai Noon (2000), Meet the Parents (2000), Zoolander (2001), Behind Enemy Lines (2001), Starsky & Hutch (2004), and Wedding Crashers (2005). More recent successes include The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Midnight in Paris (2011), and The Internship (2013).
Wood started his acting career at an extremely young age. He played the title character in the Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) at age 12. He stared in The War (1994) and Flipper (1996) before being cast as Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003). He also voiced Mumble in the award-winning Happy Feet (2006) and Happy Feet Two (2011).
Hoffman's breakthrough role came in 1967 with the release of The Graduate. Other notable films include Midnight Cowboy (1969), Papillon (1973), Marathon Man (1976), All the President's Men (1976), Kramer vs Kramer (1980), Tootsie (1982), Rain Main (1989), and Hook (1991). With versatile acting abilities, he is considered one of the finest actors in history and continues to make movies.
Births for first names are taken from births that occurred in the United States after 1879. From 1880 to 1936, all births may not be included in the original data set. Any totals for last names are the number of people with the last name as of the last US census.